There has been a great deal of debate and discussion concerning the future of the United Methodist Church. There are good and faithful Christians on all sides of the conflict who have very different theological views of what direction the United Methodist Church should take. Within the United Methodist Church, the only body who has the authority to change policy is the General Conference which is made up of elected delegates from around the world and only meets every four years. Debate and theological discussion are a very healthy thing for any denomination – Conflict IS NOT!

This conflict came to a very unhealthy head at the 2016 General Conference and the denomination was nearly torn apart. The conflict was only mediated when a resolution was passed to give a special council time to consider all sides of the conflict and then reconvene at a Special Called Meeting of the General Conference in 2019. During this Special General Conference, a vote was taken which resulted in a 438 – 384 decision to uphold the ban on “Same-Sex Weddings” and “Self-Avowed and Practicing Gay Clergy”. Following this Special General Conference several annual conferences, pastors and congregations chose to rebel against and ignore the Book of Discipline and the vows they swore to uphold. This constitutes a very real division in the “United Methodist Church” which has already occurred although not officially and legally decided on.

Representatives from all sides of this division have come together to draft a proposal called the “Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace”. This proposal contains concessions from all sides of the debate so that all sides can legally move forward and form their own denomination and put an end to the conflict that is destroying our Christian witness to the world. The 2020 General Conference was slated to vote on this proposal along with other proposals so that we could have a legal and grace filled way forward. Covid interrupted those plans. The General Conference is now scheduled for August 29 to September 6 of this year in Minneapolis. We all need to be in prayer for God’s Will to reign supreme in the upcoming decisions.

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.


Pastor Randy Tucker